A Rose From My Mother

my mothers rose

Photography by Julie Sheppard

I took this picture after the memorial for my mother in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. She had planted this rose bush in her yard. After the service this beautiful rose stood out against the desert that surrounded it. At that time my heart was broken and my grief was overwhelming. I saw only a rose and knew that she had planted. Today this picture spoke to me. Her life had many harsh times and she survived and even bloomed.

Mom Acton Ca

She was an amazing woman and she made sacrifices that cost her more than I had ever known for most of her life so that I could live and still be here today. Now as I look at this rose I see more than a rose. I am learning a lesson. Life can be harsh and cruel for many of us. Yet no matter where you are or what cruelty may surround you, love and life can still prevail.

I still miss my mom and always will but my thoughts of her bring me joy and she is still in my heart. She was a loving mother and a beautiful and hard working lady.

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Righteous anger or just plain anger?

How do you know if your anger is righteous or if you are just plain angry? I know of many who will justify not only their anger but what is done in anger, and some that will even use scripture to give just cause. Yet is this right?

Along with fighting depression I have a major battle with anger. I have been told I am right to be angry for the things that have been done to me. That they understand why I have reacted in anger and that it was okay because I was hurt. Something inside of me says this is wrong. There is no excuse that I can give for any outburst of anger that I have had. No matter how minimal the damage I may have done when I have been angry I have still caused damage. Even if it was just my words and that I shot off my mouth, Wrong is wrong. Almost everything I have ever broken when I have been angry has belonged to me, It dos not matter if I threw an object and it shattered or I tore up clothes or burnt pictures. The damage cannot be undone. This damage is not as bad as the words that have come out of my mouth, and the cursing that I have done. Even the hateful thoughts are wrong. For it starts as a thought, then comes out in either physical actions or words and both can do irreversible damage.

They say to be careful with a cornered animal because you do not know how it will react or how bad it can hurt you. I used to be that cornered animal, and all the pain that was inflicted upon me to make me cower in fear. To control and manipulate me would eventually back me into a corner where I felt the only way to survive was to fight back with all that was left within me. The saying dynamite comes in small packages was one I used quite a bit yet I out my own spin on it. I would say, ‘Dynamite comes in small packages but nitro comes in smaller and has a bigger bang. Call me Nitro.’ That was when I was proud to be angry. I had every reason to be yet the person who I hurt the most was myself.

I thank God that I am not that woman any more. Yet I still fight the anger that sometimes still boils to a rage inside of me. The difference now is that I know it is wrong and I can acknowledge that the words or even the thoughts I have when I get angry like this are wrong. One saying I can agree with today is, ‘Two wrongs do not make a right.’

So how do I know my anger is not righteous? For one reason is because a hatred begins to burn inside. Then condemning and hate filled thoughts fill my mind. No one even has to be around, just a thought of something that upsets me pops into my head and a fuse gets lit and the anger begins. Thankfully this is not an everyday occurrence but when my body’s pain level rises I have noticed my level of agitation lowers and I become more irritable. Why share any of this with anyone? I learned a while back that by putting things out into the light exposes the darkness hidden within me. Then the darkness has to flee. Scripture tells us to take every thought captive. I believe this is good because not every thought that passes through our minds are good. We are to rid ourselves of the damaging thoughts and keep the ones that keep us focused on Jesus Christ. I would like to say that the war on my anger has been won, but I still have my battles. There are battles I have won and there are battles in which I lost. I thankfully get a reprieve from these battles but then the war rages on and the fight begins again. The thing I am learning is that I do not fight anger with anger and I definitely do not fight it with hate. I start with myself and acknowledge any wrong on my part and then repent and ask God for His mercy and to help change me into a more loving person, that can be loving and merciful to those who seek to do me harm. Learning that these people are just being used as weapons and that the real enemy is not human, and is nor the terrible and painful events in ones life. The really enemy will wear any disguise that will help him do the most damage. He will twist your hurt and pain and try to make you his puppet. Something I have learned is that he only has the power over me that I give him. Will I still feel pain? Yes, I will. Can this body die? Yes it will. James told us to count it all joy when we face various trials and tribulations. How can we do this?We turn to God. We believe Jesus. We allow His Holy Spirit to help and comfort us. We cry out to God. We tell Him how we are feeling and we pour out our tears at His feet.

I have not yet reached the goal but I get up each day and press forward. There are days I lay down weakened by my body, my mind and this life. Then the nest day comes and it is back on my feet, even if I do not feel like it. Of course that is when I think God has a cattle prod and gives me a loving jab. Yet I know those jabs are because He loves me and He does not want me to fall to the wayside. So I do no fight like I used to. I am learning that not only do I need to turn my cheek but as much as it pains me to offer up the other one. The battle is the Lord’s, I need to just trust in Him.

1 Corinthians 13 / Love is… Love is not… Bible Study Lessons 1- 10

Love Suffers Long Lesson #1 / 1 Corinthians 13:4 (NKJV)

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

1 Corinthians 13:4 (ESV)  Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant

 

long–suffering

adjective  long–suf·fer·ing \-ˌsə-f(ə-)riŋ, –ˈsə-\

Simple Definition of long–suffering

  • : suffering for a long time without complaining : very patient during difficult times

Full Definition of long–suffering

  1. : patiently enduring lasting offense or hardship

patient

adjective  pa·tient \ˈpā-shənt\

Simple Definition of patient

  • : able to remain calm and not become annoyed when waiting for a long time or when dealing with problems or difficult people
  • : done in a careful way over a long period of time without hurrying

 

Full Definition of patient

  1. 1: bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
  2. 2: manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain
  3. 3: not hasty or impetuous
  4. 4: steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity
  5. 5a : able or willing to bear —used with ofb :  susceptible, admitting <patient of one interpretation>

patiently

adverb

forbearance

noun  for·bear·ance \fȯr-ˈber-ən(t)s, fər-\

Simple Definition of forbearance

  • : the quality of someone who is patient and able to deal with a difficult person or situation without becoming angry

Can you suffer without complaining?

Are you able to remain calm when you are being assaulted, verbally or physically?

How do you deal with difficult people or situations?

Are you patient?

To be honest I have failed miserably at all of these. I complain, get defensive when under attack, difficult people irritate me and my thoughts are not pleasant or loving towards them, and no I am not a patient person by nature. I used to have a joke saying, ‘It is a good thing I am not a doctor because I have no patience’. Am I working on these things? Yes, and through God’s grace changes have been made in me.

 

 

 

 

 

Love Is Kind Lesson#2 / Bible Study 1 Corinthians 13:4

1 Corinthians 13:4 NKJV  Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

1 Corinthians 13:4 NKJV   Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant

 

What does it mean to be kind?

Kind  (kaɪnd) adj kind·er, kind·est

  1. Having or showing a friendly, generous, sympathetic, or warm-hearted nature.
  2. Agreeable or beneficial: a dry climate kind to asthmatics.

[Middle English kinde, natural, kind, from Old English gecynde, natural; see genə- in Indo-European roots.]

Synonyms: kind1, kindly, kindhearted, benign, benevolent

These adjectives mean having or showing a tender, considerate, and helping nature. Kind and kindly are the leastspecific: thanked her for her kind letter; a kindly gentleman. Kindhearted especially suggests an innately kinddisposition: a kindhearted teacher. Benign implies gentleness and mildness: benign intentions; a benign sovereign.Benevolent suggests charitableness and a desire to promote the welfare or happiness of others: a benevolent

  1. having a friendly or generous nature or attitude
  2. helpful to others or to another: a kind deed.
  3. considerate or humane
  4. cordial; courteous (esp in the phrase kind regards)
  5. pleasant; agreeable; mild: a kind climate.
  6. informal beneficial or not harmful: a detergent that is kind to the hands.
  7. archaic loving

[Old English gecynde natural, native; see kind2]

What does it mean to be friendly?

 

 

In what ways are you generous?

 

 

Are you sympathetic?

 

 

Are you agreeable?

 

 

Are you beneficial?

 

 

 

Love Does Not Envy / Lesson#3

1 Corinthians 13:4 NKJV  Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

 

What does it mean to envy?  envy noun  en·vy \ˈen-vē\

Simple Definition of envy

:the feeling of wanting to have what someone else has

:someone or something that causes envy

Source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary

 

Full Definition of envy plural  envies

1: painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage

2obsolete:  malice

3: an object of envious notice or feeling <his new car made him the envy of his friends>

Definition of envy for Students plural envies

1: a feeling of unhappiness over another’s good fortune together with a desire to have the same good fortune <He was filled with envy on seeing her success.>

2: a person or a thing that is envied

Thesaurus Synonyms of envy

a painful awareness of another’s possessions or advantages and a desire to have them too <her envy of her neighbor’s fancy clothes wrecked their friendship>Synonyms covetousness, enviousness, green-eyed monster, invidiousness, jealousy, resentment

Related Words animosity, enmity, hatred, ill will; malice, maliciousness, spitefulness

Envy, jealousy, and coveting are one in the same, and they all lead to wrong thinking and emotions.  Envy or jealousy can make you feel less about yourself. You can be bitter and resentful. You can even be jealous of how another gets away with a wrong, while you suffer an injustice. This list can go on and on.

 

In what ways have you been envious or jealous?

 

 

 

What have you coveted?

 

 

 

Have you ever been resentful when someone has wrongfully prospered?

 

 

 

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love does not…#4

1 Corinthians 13:4 (NKJV) 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

 

1 Corinthians 13:4 (GNT) 4 Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud;

 

1 Corinthians 13:4 (NIV) 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

 

1 Corinthians 13:4 (NASB) 4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,

 

Parade (noun) 5. An ostentatious show; an exhibition: make a parade of one’s talents.

(verb) 4. To behave so as to attract attention; show off.

(tr)to exhibit or flaunt: he was parading his medals.

Ostentatious (ˌɒstɛnˈteɪʃəs) adj

Characterized by pretentious, showy, or vulgar display

Characterized by pretentious show in an attempt to impress others.

Intended to attract notice: ostentatious charity.

Conceited (kənˈsiːtɪd) adj1. Having a high or exaggerated opinion of oneself or one’s accomplishments

 

conceited – characteristic of false pride; having an exaggerated sense of self-importance; “a conceited fool”; “an attitude of self-conceited arrogance”; “an egotistical disregard of others”;”so swollen by victory that he was unfit for normal duty”; “growing ever more swollen-headed and arbitrary”; “vain about her clothes”

self-conceited, swollen, swollen-headed, vain, egotistic, egotistical

proud – feeling self-respect or pleasure in something by which you measure your self-worth; or being a reason for pride; “proud parents”; “proud of his accomplishments”; “a proud moment”; “proud to serve his country”; “a proud name”; “proud princes”

Conceited  adjective self-important, vain, arrogant, stuck up (informal), cocky, narcissistic, puffed up, egotistical, overweening, immodest, vainglorious, swollen-headed, bigheaded (informal), full of yourself, too big for your boots or breeches I thought him conceited and arrogant.

modest, humble, unassuming, self-effacing

Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002

 

Conceited adjective

Thinking too highly of oneself:   egoistic, egoistical, egotistic, egotistical, narcissistic, vain, vain glorious.

Informal: bigheaded, stuck-up, swell headed.

Unduly preoccupied with one’s own appearance:

narcissistic, vain.

Boast  (bəʊst) vb

(intr;sometimes foll by of or about) to speak in exaggerated or excessively proud terms of one’s possessions, skills, or superior qualities; brag

(tr)to possess (something to be proud of): the city boasts a fine cathedral.

n3. a bragging statement 4. a possession, attribute, attainment, etc, that is or may be bragged about

Synonyms: boast1, brag, crow2, vaunt

These verbs all mean to speak with pride, often excessive pride, about oneself or something related to oneself. Boast is the most general: “We confide [that is, have confidence] in our strength, without boasting of it; we respect that of others, without fearing it” (Thomas Jefferson).

Brag implies exaggerated claims and often an air of insolent superiority: He bragged about his grades. Crow stresses exultation and often loud rejoicing: No candidate should crow until the votes have been counted. Vaunt suggests ostentatiousness and lofty extravagance of expression: “He did not vaunt of his new dignity, but I understood he washighly pleased with it” (James Boswell).

Brag  (bræɡ) vb, brags, bragging or bragged

to speak of (one’s own achievements, possessions, etc) arrogantly and boastfully

n 1. boastful talk or behavior, or an instance of this 2. something boasted of: his brag was his new car.

A braggart; boaster

ar·ro·gant   (ăr′ə-gənt) adj.

Havingor displaying a sense of overbearing self-worth or self-importance. 2. Marked by or arising from a feeling or assumption of one’s superiority toward others: an arrogant contempt for theweak.

[Middle English arrogaunt, from Old French, from Latin arrogāns, arrogant-, present participle of arrogāre, toarrogate; see arrogate.]

ar′ro·gant·ly adv. Synonyms: arrogant, haughty, disdainful, supercilious

These adjectives mean characterized by an inflated ego and disdain for what one considers inferior. One who is arrogant is overbearingly proud and demands excessive power or consideration: an arrogant and pompous professor, unpopular with students and colleagues alike. Haughty suggests superiority, as by reason of high status: “Her laugh was satirical, and so was the habitual expression of her arched and haughty lip” (Charlotte Brontë).

Disdainful emphasizes scorn or contempt: “Nor [let] grandeur hear with a disdainful smile, / The short and simple annals of the poor” (Thomas Gray).

Supercilious implies haughty disdain and aloofness: “Failure would confirm the critics who called him supercilious for following his own methods and not theirs” (Neal Bascomb).

 

Proud  (praʊd) adj

(follby: of, an infinitive, or a clause) pleased or satisfied, as with oneself, one’s possessions, achievements, etc, or with another person, his or her achievements, qualities, etc

Feeling honoured or gratified by or as if by some distinction

having an inordinately high opinion of oneself; arrogant or haughty

Definitions from  http://www.thefreedictionary.com

 

Why are so many definitions included with this lesson? They are listed for clarity. So you can see and understand what these words mean in their context. Taking a shovel and digging in deep. Getting to the core and getting past the surface. The word Love has been used so carelessly and without meaning, I want to get to the truth about love. People say they love chocolate, hamburgers, cake, etc… in the same manner as they say I love you. They have become empty and meaningless words. We confuse love with lust and passion. Why do we use the word lovers for the people we have had sex with? This makes me think of Tina Turner’s song, ‘What’s love got to do with it’. What does love have to do with sex, or any materialistic, physical thing? Nothing. To be honest most of us don’t even love ourselves and do not even realize this. Yet the love God has for us, and gave to us through His Son Jesus is true and filled with life, joy, hope, and truth. Yet how do we learn to understand this kind of love? We dive into His Word. Jesus is the Word made flesh. In this lesson I used parallel versions and definitions(more definitions can be found at http://www.thefreedictionary.com)  to learn what was really being said in this verse and the two last words of this verse(more actually if you look at the different versions) parade itself/ puffed up: conceited or proud; boast/proud: brag/arrogant. These are things that love is not. It is not about itself or what it can get. It is a real, living, and growing life that gives more than it seeks for itself. I have learned one thing about myself, and that is that I have so much to learn about love and I do not think I am alone. I hope you want to learn too.

Is love about what you want or can get?

 

Have you ever behaved in a rude or arrogant matter?

 

Have you sought attention because of a need to feel loved?

 

Do you have moments where you behave like you are better than those around you?

 

Do you ever think your sin is not as bad as another?

 

1 Corinthians 13 has been a lifeline for me for the last five years. It has helped me learn how to deal with tragedies and loss without turning headlong into a self destructive lifestyle. Understanding, that because terrible things have happened, that this does not mean that He does not love me. He knows and feels my pain. I have also learned that if someone hurts me, I do not have to hurt them back, and this does not make me a doormat. I continue to desire to learn and understand what His love is so that I can share this love with others. This is lesson 4 and more will come. I hope and pray that you will share what you know about love and any insights you can give to helps us all grow in His love.

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is not rude #5

 

NKJV does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

 

NIV It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs

 

ESV or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

 

YOUNG’s doth not act unseemly, doth not seek its own things, is not provoked, doth not impute evil,

 

Rude   (ro͞od) adj. rud·er, rud·est

 

Ill-mannered ,discourteous, or insulting: was offended by his rude behavior.

a.Undevelopedor uncivilized; primitive: a rude and savage land.

Crude, unfinished, or made with limited skill: a rude thatched hut.

Ina natural, raw state: bales of rude cotton.

Unpleasantly forceful or harsh: faced rude winds; received a rude shock.

Chiefly British Vigorous or robust: in rude health.

Archaic Lacking education or refinement: “They were so rude and ignorant … that very little could be learned from them” (Samuel Johnson).

Dishonor ( dis·hon·or )  (dĭs-ŏn′ər)n.

 

Loss of honor, respect, or reputation.

The condition of having lost honor or good repute.

A cause of loss of honor: was a dishonor to the club.

Failure to pay or refusal to accept a note, a bill, or another commercial obligation.

tr.v. dis·hon·ored, dis·hon·or·ing, dis·hon·ors

 

To bring shame or disgrace upon.

To treat in a disrespectful or demeaning manner.

To fail or refuse to accept or pay (a note, bill, or check, for example).

syn: See disgrace.

unseemly   (ŭn-sēm′lē) adj. un·seem·li·er, un·seem·li·est  1. Not in accord with accepted standards of decency or morality. 2. Not suited to the circumstances; inappropriate: took an unseemly amount of time to complete the project.

Unattractive; unsightly: “The point at which the walls of suburban houses meet the lawns is apparently unseemly and must be covered up with these stunted trees” (Amy Benson).

adv.

In an improper or inappropriate manner.

Synonyms: unseemly, improper, unbecoming, indelicate, indecent, indecorous

These adjectives mean not in keeping with accepted standards of what is right or proper. What is unseemly reflects badly on one’s manners or morals: an unseemly outburst; married in unseemly haste. Improper often refers to unethical conduct, a breach of etiquette, or morally offensive behavior: improper business practices; improper behavior at the dinner table. Unbecoming suggests what is beneath the standard implied by one’s character or position: language unbecoming to an officer. Indelicate suggests immodesty, coarseness, or tactlessness: indelicate barnyard humor; an indelicate reference to the senator’s family troubles. Indecent refers to what is considered crude or vulgar, especially with regard to sexual impropriety or sexually explicit material: an indecent proposal; indecent programming. Indecorous implies violation of propriety or decorum: an exposé of the author’s indecorous past.

 

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

 

Our actions and behavior say more about us than just the words we speak. I know I do not behave as I should and that I may act in a rude manner at times without realizing that I am doing so.  Pain and not feeling well has its effect on my attitude, but this does not excuse rude disrespectful or unseemly behavior. Just because I have had a bad day does not mean that I can take it out on others. This is not the only way one can be rude, disrespectful, or unseemly. I hate it when I snap at a person for any reason, but I do this at times, and the reason does not matter because I know it is not how God would like to see me behave towards anyone. My actions and reactions without love can cause harm and this is something that I do not want to do. I have been hurt enough in my life and I know I have hurt others. I cannot change what has been done, and I cannot change how others behave, but I can take accountability for my own actions, and make the changes that need to be made in myself. Of course I need God’s help and guidance to do this. So I submit to His will and follow Jesus, who is The Word, and my Savior.

 

Have you ever been sprayed by a skunk? If you have you know how difficult it is and how much time it takes to get rid of the stink. The same can be said about the sin in our lives. It leaves a stink on us and some of us become nose blind to the stench it leaves on us. Yet with submission to God’s will and receiving His love through His Son Jesus we become a pleasing aroma.

 

Ephesians 5:2 ESV And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

 

2 Corinthians 2:14-17 ESV But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.

 

1 Peter 4:8 ESV Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

 

Questions for thought and comments.

 

Think about a time when someone was rude or disrespectful to you. How did that make you feel?

 

Can you remember how you reacted?

 

How can you apply this part of this scripture to your own life?

 

 

Love does not seek its own 1 Corinthians 13:5 Lesson 6

1 Corinthians 13: 5(NKJV) does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

1 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV) It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

1 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV) or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

1 Corinthians 13:5 (NLT)  or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.

 

Seeking, insisting, or demanding your own way is not love. Even God who created us does not demand. He has given us commands, instructions, and laws, but gives us free will to choose what we will and will not do. The results of our choices and how they impact our lives and the lives we touch are our own. When Adam and Eve did the one thing they were asked not to do. God did not stop them but the result of their action was that they had to leave Eden. God did not make them eat the fruit but told them not to. Then God told them that a Savior would be born through a woman to redeem man and defeat the enemy. Even when His command was broken He still makes a way to forgive and to love us who do not deserve His love or mercy.

 

He knew we would continue to sin yet He loves us so completely He paid the price for our actions in sending His Son Jesus to pay the debt of our sins to redeem us. Yet if someone were to wrongs you, do you demand they make payment or make repairs? I cannot answer for you but I know I have.

 

If I am only out to do things that are for my gain alone and do not care if I hurt anyone or cause any damage as long as I get what I want I am being selfish and self seeking.

Discussion Questions

What does it mean to you to be self seeking?

 

 

What do you think it means to insist on your own way and are there times when it is okay to do so?

 

 

Are you demanding about anything?

 

 

When we think of love we think about feelings and what we get if we want to be honest it is about our wants, desires, and needs. Man is selfish by nature. Yet this is not an excuse. God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not ours. When we enter into a relationship with Jesus we receive His love and forgiveness. His love transforms us from what we were to His image, but this transformation does not take place overnight. If you are an artist, who paints, sculpts, or carves, you know the image does not appear like magic. You form; you chisel, and cut away. You stroke paint onto a canvas. It may take you days, weeks, or months. You took one thing and transformed a blank canvas, a block of, stone, or a lump of clay and created a piece of art for you and others to enjoy, and appreciate. Now if you force any of your process what usually happens? It doesn’t turn out the way you wanted and may even be broken beyond repair. Demanding or insisting with force can do great damage.

So I pray to become less demanding and more pleasing to our Lord. Seeking to serve the needs of others, knowing He provides for all of my needs.

 

Definitions

self-seek·ing  (sĕlf′sē′kĭng)  adj.1. Pursuing only one’s own ends or interests.

Exhibiting concern only with promoting one’s own ends orinterests: self-seeking maneuvers.

n.Determined pursuit of one’s own ends or interests.

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

the act oraninstance of seeking one’s own profit or interest, esp exclusively

adj. having or showing an exclusive preoccupation with one’s own profit or interest: a self-seeking attitude.

ˌself-seeking  adjective selfish, self-interested, mercenary, calculating, opportunistic, self-serving, acquisitive, on the make(slang), careerist, gold-digging, fortune-hunting, looking out for number one (informal), out for what you can getPoliticians are untrustworthy self-seeking creatures.

Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002

self-seeking  adjective Concerned only with oneself:

egocentric, egoistic, egoistical, egomaniacal, egotistic, egotistical, self-absorbed, self-centered, self-involved, selfish, self-serving.

Idiom: wrapped up in oneself.

in·sist   (ĭn-sĭst′) v. in·sist·ed, in·sist·ing, in·sists

v.intr. To be resolute or firm in a demand or course: I insist on paying my share of the expenses.

v.tr.To assert or demand (something) firmly or persistently: We insist that you stay for dinner.

 

Vb  1. to make a determined demand (for): he insisted that his rights be respected; he insisted on his rights.  2. to express a convinced belief (in) or assertion (of): he insisted that she was mad; he insisted on her madness.

Verb  1. persist, press (someone), be firm, stand firm, stand your ground, lay down the law, put your foot down(informal), not take no for an  answer, brook no refusal, take or make a stand I didn’t want to join in, but heinsisted.

demand, order, urge, require, command, dictate, entreatI insisted that the fault be repaired.

assert, state, maintain, hold, claim, declare, repeat, vow, swear, contend, affirm, reiterate, profess, avow,aver, asseverateHe insisted that he was acting out of compassion.

Demand 1. To ask for urgently or peremptorily: demand an investigation into the murder; demanding that he leave immediately; demanded to speak to the manager.

To claim as just or due: demand repayment of a loan.

To ask to be informed of: demanded an explanation for the interruption.

To require as useful, just, proper, or necessary; call for: a gem that demands a fine setting.

Law

To lay legal claim to; claim formally.

To ask that (something) be done in accordance with a legal requirement. verb 1. request, ask (for), order, expect, claim, seek, call for, insist on, exact, appeal for, solicit She demanded an immediate apology.

challenge, ask, question, inquire ‘What do you expect me to do about it?’ she demanded. 3. require, take, want, need, involve, call for, entail, necessitate, cry out for The task demands much patience and hard work. require give, provide, produce, supply, grant, contribute, yield, come up with, furnish

noun

request, order, charge, bidding He grew ever more fierce in his demands.

need, want, call, market, claim, requirement, necessity The demand for coal is down.

in demand sought after, needed, popular, favoured, requested, in favour, fashionable, well-liked, in vogue, like gold dust He was much in demand as a lecturer.

Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002

 

 

1 Corinthians 13:5 / Love is not easily angered / Lesson 7

 

1 Corinthians 13:5(NKJV) 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

1 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV)  5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

1 Corinthians 13:5(NIV) 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

 

Definition of provoke / provoked / provoking – transitive verb

1a archaic :  to arouse to a feeling or action b :  to incite to anger

provoke, excite, stimulate, pique, quicken mean to arouse as if by pricking. provoke directs attention to the response called forth <my stories usually provoke laughter>. excite implies a stirring up or moving profoundly <news that excited anger and frustration>. stimulate suggests a rousing out of lethargy, quiescence, or indifference <stimulating conversation>. pique suggests stimulating by mild irritation or challenge <that remark piqued my interest>. quicken implies beneficially stimulating and making active or lively <the high salary quickened her desire to have the job>.

Synonyms – irritate / to rouse to strong feeling or action <his teasing finally provoked her to anger> <bees generally will not sting unless they are provoked>

Synonyms arouse, encourage, excite, fire (up), impassion, incite, instigate, move, pique, rev (up), spark, stimulate, stir

Related Words fan, ignite, inflame (also enflame), kindle, trigger; activate, animate, drive, energize, galvanize, induce, inspire, key (up), motivate, motive, pump up, quicken, set off, vitalize; abet, ferment, foment, raise, whip (up); anger, enrage, madden, upset; jeer, taunt, tease; aggravate, annoy, bother, exasperate, gall, get, irritate, vex

Definition of irritable :  capable of being irritated: asa :  easily exasperated or excited <gets irritable when he tires>b :  responsive to stimuli

Synonyms of irritable / easily irritated or annoyed <that irritable old man always yells at people to stay off of his lawn>Synonyms choleric, crabby, cranky, cross, crotchety, fiery, grouchy, grumpy, irascible, peevish, perverse, pettish, petulant, prickly, quick-tempered, raspy, ratty, short-tempered, snappish, snappy, snarky, snippety, snippy, stuffy, testy, waspish Related Words bearish, bilious, cantankerous, cross-grained, curmudgeonly, disagreeable, dyspeptic, ill-humored, ill-natured, ill-tempered, off-color (or off-colored), ornery, querulous, snarly, surly; argumentative, bellicose, belligerent, combative, contentious, disputatious, fractious, fretful, pugnacious, quarrelsome, scrappy, truculent; huffy, pouty, sensitive, short, sulky, sullen, tetchy, thin-skinned, touchy; hot-blooded, passionate

 

Definition of anger / angered / angering :  to make strongly displeased :  make angry

anger noun an·ger : a strong feeling of being upset or annoyed because of something wrong or bad : the feeling that makes someone want to hurt other people, to shout, etc. : the feeling of being angry

Synonyms of anger / an intense emotional state of displeasure with someone or something <managed to stifle his anger when the receptionist put him on hold for the third time>Synonyms angriness, [chiefly Scottish], choler, furor, fury, indignation, irateness, ire, lividity, lividness, mad, madness, mood [archaic], outrage, rage, spleen, wrath, wrathfulness Related Words aggravation, annoyance, exasperation, irritation, vexation; acrimoniousness, acrimony, animosity, antagonism, antipathy, bile, biliousness, bitterness, contempt ,embitterment, enmity, grudge, hostility, rancor; envy, jaundice, jealousy, pique ,resentment; malevolence, malice, spite, vengefulness, venom, vindictiveness, virulence, vitriol; belligerence, contentiousness, contrariness, crankiness, disputatiousness, hot-headedness, irascibility, irascibleness, irritability, orneriness, pugnacity, quarrelsomeness, blowup, flare, flare-up, outburst; chafe, dander, dudgeon, huff, pet, rise, ruffle, temper; air rage, road rage; delirium, heat, passion, warmth

 

Are you easily provoked, irritable, or angered?

 

 

 

What is something that easily angers you?

 

 

 

The more the love of Christ grows in us the less we can become angered provoke or irritable. For His love is opposite of these things and His love is True love. Being angered or irritable alone is not a sin but what we do when we are these things can be if we are not acting according to His love. We may not show our anger or irritation but if we let it take root in our mind it still can cause damage. Remember just because a person is smiling at you does not mean their thoughts towards you are good.

 

We can be provoked by various things and what is provoked can also vary. When provoked to anger we often react in a negative manner. Anger colors our judgment and we react in haste. The enemy uses this against us to use us to do harm. Jabez when he prayed to the Lord asked to be kept from doing harm. When we see wrongs being committed it is okay to be angry but being easily angered we are not thinking clearly but emotionally. Emotions cloud our judgment and we often seek revenge not justice. When angry or irritated we are not thinking about love.  Living in a world with so much violence and injustice it is easy to be provoked and feel anger. This world and all that is wrong will one day come to an end. So how do we live in this world and not be easily provoked, irritated, or angered? It takes love, His love which is merciful and forgiving. Think about all that He suffered for our sakes while on this earth and why He did it. It helps you look at any situation with new eyes. His love covers a multitude of sins. Live in His love, and love your enemies and you will not be as easily angered as you were before you received His love. As his love grows in us and we begin to see through His eyes we begin to see those who have harmed us for who they are. People who themselves are hurting and lost. Who have been wounded by abuse, neglect, rejection and hatred to name a few things. Then compassion takes place of resentment and anger. Forgiveness and mercy takes place of bitterness and resentment. Love takes place of hate. Love always wins because Jesus is love. We should not ignore the things that anger or upset us, because pretending will not make the problem go away. Deal with the problem using God’s love and His Word to guide you.

 

 

1 Corinthians 13:5 Love Thinks No Evil Lesson 8

 

5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; NKJV

5  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; ESV

5  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. NIV

5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, NASB

5 Thinks no evil; is not resentful; keeps no records of wrongs; does not take into account a wrong suffered.  The last two versions you can also use the word grudge.

 

evil /ˈēvəl/noun: evil, plural noun: evils

profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity, especially when regarded as a supernatural force: “the world is stalked by relentless evil”

synonyms: wickedness, bad, badness, wrongdoing, sin, ill, immorality, vice, iniquity, degeneracy, corruption, depravity, villainy, nefariousness, malevolence, devil, turpitude

▪ a manifestation of this, especially in people’s actions:

“the evil that took place last Thursday”

Synonyms: abomination, atrocity, obscenity, outrage, enormity, crime, monstrosity, barbarity

▪ something that is harmful or undesirable:

“sexism, racism, and all other unpleasant social evils”

synonyms: harm, pain, misery, sorrow, suffering, trouble, disaster, misfortune, catastrophe, affliction, woe, hardship

 

adjective

profoundly immoral and malevolent: “his evil deeds“

synonyms: wicked, bad, wrong, immoral, sinful, foul, vile, dishonorable, corrupt, iniquitous, depraved, reprobate, villainous, nefarious, vicious, malicious, malevolent, sinister, demonic, devilish, diabolical, fiendish, dark, monstrous, shocking, despicable, atrocious, heinous, odious, contemptible, horrible, execrable, lowdown, dirty

▪ (of a force or spirit) embodying or associated with the forces of the devil:

“we have been driven out of the house by this evil spirit”

▪ harmful or tending to harm:

“the evil effects of high taxes”

synonyms: cruel, mischievous, pernicious, malignant, malign, baleful, vicious, destructive, harmful, hurtful, injurious, detrimental, deleterious, inimical, bad, ruinous

▪ (of something seen or smelled) extremely unpleasant:

“a bathroom with an evil smell”

synonyms: unpleasant, disagreeable, nasty, horrible, foul, disgusting, filthy, vile, noxious

Word Origin Old English yfel, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch euvel and German Übel.

 

resentful /rəˈzentfəl/ adjective

feeling or expressing bitterness or indignation at having been treated unfairly:

“he was angry and resentful of their intrusion”

synonyms: aggrieved, indignant, irritated, piqued, put out, in high dudgeon, dissatisfied, disgruntled, discontented, offended, bitter, jaundiced, envious, jealous, brooding, miffed, peeved, sore

Derivatives

1.resentfully adverb 2.resentfulness n.

Synonyms; acrid, acrimonious, embittered, hard, rancorous, bitter, sore

Related Words

disaffected, discontented, disgruntled, malcontent; contemptuous, cynical, disdainful, misanthropic, scornful; angry, cruel, harsh, irritated, mad, rough, savage, vehement, vicious, virulent, vitriolic; acid, caustic, cutting, mordant, sarcastic, trenchant; knock-down, drag-out (or knock-down-and-drag-out)

In the NKJV it says thinks no evil. It is not just what we do but what we think that we have to consider. Jesus said, ‘To even look at a woman with lust in your eyes is to have committed adultery. Wrong thinking happens before one takes action. Sometimes it is a quick thought and other times the thought lingers and takes root. It can hide itself behind reasons, logics and what one holds to be their right. (Something we saw in the woman’s march that recently took place in protest to our new President Trump) to name a few ways it can hide in our minds. Scripture tells us to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5 (NKJV)  casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, )and there is a reason for this. If we allow wrong thinking to continue those thoughts turn into actions and wrong attitudes. Even smells are listed in above definitions in the synonyms.

Most of us do not think we do anything that is evil but the definitions above reveal that there are things we do that we do not realize they are doing something evil. Most of us do not intend to do any harm.

Being resentful or holding a grudge harms both the one holding the grudge and the one the grudge is held against. Not keeping records of a wrong done to you does not mean you forget what had been done. What was done cannot be changed because it was done in the past. It frees your mind letting go of the thoughts and not keeping yourself in the same prison you are holding the wrong doer. Instead of focusing your thoughts on the pain you suffered or the wrong done to you, thinking on the goodness of Jesus and the love you have can change not only how you think but how you live.

 

Think about your thoughts.

Do you remember the saying think before you speak?

 

Do you take your thoughts captive and take them to God?

 

Do you justify you’re a thoughts?

 

Do you want to change how you think?

 

1 Corinthians 13:6-7 Rejoicing In Truth Lesson 9

1 Corinthians 13:6- (NKJV)  does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 

1 Corinthians 13:6-7 (NIV) 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 

1 Corinthians 13:6-7 (ESV)  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 

Rejoicing in truth. What does this mean to you?

 

Truth is not opinion or your perspective and point of view. The real Truth is Jesus.

 

Definition of truth  plural   truths\ˈtrüthz, ˈtrüths\

 

1aarchaic :  fidelity, constancyb :  sincerity in action, character, and utterance

2a(1) :  the state of being the case :  fact (2) :  the body of real things, events, and facts : actuality (3) often capitalized :  a transcendent fundamental or spiritual realityb :  a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true <truths of thermodynamics>c :  the body of true statements and propositions

3a:  the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or realityb chiefly British :  true 2c :  fidelity to an original or to a standard

4capitalized,Christian Science :  god

in truth

: in accordance with fact :  actually

Origin and Etymology of truth  Middle English trewthe, from Old Englishtrēowth fidelity; akin to Old English trēowefaithful — more at true

Definition of truth for English Language Learners

the truth: the real facts about something : the things that are true

:the quality or state of being true

:a statement or idea that is true or accepted as true

Synonyms facticity, factuality, sooth, trueness, verity

 

Definition of rejoice

rejoiced

rejoicing

  1. transitive verb

: to give joy to :  gladden

  1. intransitive verb

: to feel joy or great delight

rejoicer   noun

rejoicingly -ˈjȯi-siŋ-lē\ adverb

rejoice in

: have, possess

Definition of rejoice for English Language Learners

:to feel or show that you are very happy about something

Synonyms crow, delight, exuberate, glory, jubilate,joy, kvell, exult, triumph

 

Verse 7 – bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 

What does it mean to bear something?

 

What do you believe in?

 

What does it mean to endure?

 

 

1 Corinthians 13:8-13 Love is…Lesson#10 Conclusion

1 Corinthians 13:8-13 (NKJV) Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 

1 Corinthians 13:8-13 (ESV) Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 

What does it mean to fail?

  1. Fail intransitive verb

1a:  to lose strength :  weaken <her health was failing>b :  to fade or die away <until our family line fails>c :  to stop functioning normally <the patient’s heart failed>

2a:  to fall short <failed in his duty>b :  to be or become absent or inadequate <the water supply failed>c :  to be unsuccessful <the marriage failed>; specifically :  to be unsuccessful in achieving a passing grade <took the exam and failed>d :  to become bankrupt or insolvent <banks were failing>

  1. transitive verb

1a:  to disappoint the expectations or trust of <her friends failed her>b :  to miss performing an expected service or function for <his wit failed him>

2: to be deficient in :  lack <never failed an invincible courage — Douglas MacArthur>

3: to leave undone :  neglect <fail to lock the door>

Love does not fail means that it will not lose its’ strength, not stop functioning, will not fall short. It is never absent, inadequate, or unsuccessful. Love will not disappoint you and lacks nothing. Love will not neglect you.

 

Prophecies will pass away not because they are not true but because the true prophecy of Jesus will be fulfilled and once fulfilled it is then done but love is never done it has no end. You can have all the knowledge in this world and still have nothing if you do not know love. Love is not something you can comprehend truly by mans way of thinking. The love God has given to us makes no rational sense in the way man thinks. A man would rather kill an enemy verses sacrificing his own life to save another. Many of us can be a know it all. ‘Oh I knew that and let me tell you the right way to do that etc…’ They say a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing and I believe who ever first said that had quite a revelation. This is even true of Christians. We have some knowledge but none of us have complete understanding of God’s Word. There is division amongst His body because one part holds on to one piece of the truth while another part holds on to their little piece. Yet instead of working together and learning from each other they stay divided. If a body is divided how can it function? It cannot even stand.

 

When we were children we spoke as a child speaks but when we grow we mature and how we speak changes. As we mature the childish behavior stops and we come adults. Yet today how many of us only grow old and never mature?

Our vision is impaired right now. We see shapes and colors. We may even put on a pair of glasses to try and see better, yet even then we do not see all that God is doing and sometimes we do not even see what He has already done.

 

We are still growing and maturing. We know in part and see in part. One day we will see Jesus return and He will take us home. Until that day we are to abide in faith, hope and love and the Word says out of these three the greatest is love.

Faith – we believe.

Hope – we trust.

Love is everything.

In this study we have looked at what love is and what it is not. In your own words would you make two lists? If you ever made a list of pros and cons it should look something like that. On one side at the top of the list write Love is not, and on the top of the second list write, Love is. Personalize this list. Do not worry you are not changing God’s word, but do make it personal to you. Even take events from your own life and place them in your lists. When we are done with our lists we will share them.

Questions for discussion;

In this ten part lesson from 1 Corinthians 13 which verse speaks the most to you today?

 

From the scripture discussing what love is not which one is at the top of your list to work on in yourself?

 

 

What is the most important part of these lessons to you?

Criticism verses Loves

Do you realize how critical and judgmental people can be? I know I can be. It is not my intent and it is an area I am working on.I have to take the time to look in the mirror at myself or it is easy for me to argue and become less of a person than those who criticize or judge me.

Have you noticed that we all have some great reasons to pass judgment on each other? We are quick to criticize those in the world for how they live. We even turn on our brothers and sister in Christ. We spread hate and not His love by slandering each other and the we use the excuse of having wisdom and understanding and that we have to expose sin. Yet we do not deal with the sin in our own hearts.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NKJV)  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a]but have not love, it profits me nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:12(NKJV)  For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

The body of Christ is divided not because of the world but because of our own demanding ways and holding on to the small part of understanding we have. We cling to religion and legalism or we go as far as saying we do not have to obey the law.Jesus said ‘If you love me, you will keep my commands’ He added one command and that was for us to love one another as He loves us. I have been criticized and called a number of names and the sad thing is more than half of those who have done this call themselves Christians. Does this mean I am to hate them? Definitely not! /these people do so out of their own limited way of thinking and that I do not fit their mold of what they want me to be. I am definitely a unique individual. God has taken the broken parts of my life and transformed them into a working vessel He can use. My obedience is to God first. My life is to please God and I do this by living my life in love. I have learned that I will never learn everything there is to learn in my life on this earth. I know in part and I will spend my life seeking God and His instruction. Life can be compared to a puzzle, we all have a piece and we can only see what that piece shows. Then another comes and we are able to put our pieces together and the picture grows. This continues until all the pieces are brought together. What happens if a piece or more turns up missing? The picture cannot be complete. I like to think that Jesus holds those missing pieces waiting for us to work together so He can then finish what He started.

If you look only to find what you do not agree with you will find it every time. It is so easy to find the flaws and wrongs in others. It is even easier to justify your judgment. Remember this though Satan used scripture against Jesus when he was tempting Jesus in the wilderness.

Matthew 4:1-11 (NKJV)  Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”[a]Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’and,‘In their hands they shall bear you up,Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”[b]Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”[c]Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you,[d] Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”[e]11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

Here are a few things I am turning to work on my own self.

One learning to listen to ALL another has to say as well as how they are saying it because no two people communicate perfectly and even when they are saying the same thing due to lack of understanding and problems communicating they can still fall into a argument disagreeing over something they actually agree upon. If I interrupt or dismiss what they have to say before I have listen to all what they have to say. Another thing is by listening not just hearing I am validating the person and this does not mean I agree but accept that what they have to say is important to them

The next is acknowledging I do not know everything, that what I know is only a small part of all the wisdom God has. For His thoughts are not my thoughts and His ways are not my ways. I need a spirit of humility and compassion.

Another thing I contemplate is 1 Corinthians 13 Love does not demand its own way. God gave me free will,  who am I to demand another to see as I see and not allow them to have their own opinion.. What I mean is that I can say what I have to say and another can say what they have to say. If we do not agree I do not need to repeat myself or use every argument I can come up trying to force them into agreement with myself, or to make sure I have been heard. A term a friend taught me some years back is sand paper people and what is even funnier to me is that a majority of my friends fall into this category. The fact that we are friends is that we have learned that we do not have to agree but we respect each other and our different opinions. We all come from different backgrounds and have had different life experiences. Unfortunately the majority of us have lived through one form of abuse or another. How we have developed and healed has been different and at different times in our lives. I would be wrong to tell them they need to be where I am because I had already been there and done that and I know the right way, Yet I would be wrong. How I was hurt and how I was healed is not the same. Similar yes we have both been hurt by abuse but how my abuse effected me is going to be different than how they were affected. The time it takes me to heal is dependent on the degree of my wound and God’s timing.

God is our Judge, Jesus is our Advocate, the Holy Spirit is our Helper, and Satan is our accuser..I have to ask myself am I being any one of these.

Does this mean I do not call sin, sin?  Sin must be addressed and not swept under the rug but I have to ask myself am I trying to help another out of the ditch or am I standing above the one in the ditch kicking dirt down on them burying them with my judgment. Do I get down on my knees with an outstretched arm and help them up. Think about the parable of the ‘Good Samaritan’.

None of us are without sin and none of us is perfect but we hypocritically demand others be perfect and agree with us. Where is the love of Jesus in this. He did not choose the elite or highly educated. He chose men who were rough and ones who were even despised by their community. You even have women from backgrounds not acceptable by religious standards. Rahab the harlot,who hides and protects the spies Joshua sent into Canaan.Then Ruth the Moabite who becomes the grandmother of David. The woman who anoints Jesus is despised by those who are with Jesus. The Samaritan woman at the well would not have even been spoken to by the religious. She even tells Jesus if you knew who I am you would not speak to me. Jesus does speak to her and He speaks to her with love.

Man or woman. Adult or child. No matter your race or background  or opinion, Jesus loves you. Can we learn to love each other as He loves us or we continue to justify our actions no matter who we may hurt or keep from coming to know the love and mercy Jesus has for all of us.

 

How to stop or avoid an argument

Love does not demand its own way.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7New Living Translation (NLT)

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

These verses describe what is and is not love. My focus today is on the sentence – It does not demand its own way. How often do we argue with one another? An argument consists of at least two people in a disagreement. Both feel that they are right. The arguing is each one demanding they are right. Yet once you have entered an argument you have already lost even if you may be right. The other person may hear you but they are not listening to you and vice versa. This is just one example of a person demanding their own way, so I am going to keep on this topic. Say I do not agree with you. Instead of walking away or moving on to another subject, I keep persisting on you agreeing with me. I finally irritate you until you are upset and a full blown argument takes place. I might have been right but the way I handled this conversation was absolutely wrong. I was not getting the response I wanted, so I kept nagging you and insisting you agree with me. You may have had something for me to listen to but I was refusing to hear you. Now both of us are upset and nothing more than irritation, hurt feelings, and anger are left. So what was the point? I was demanding my own way; I was not speaking in love.

It is not easy when you have something to say and the other person is refusing to listen to what you have to say, but at the same time how often do we really listen to the others need? Is it just about what I want? When we take the time to listen to each other, and care about the others needs and wants as much as our own, this is just one way to show love. I have not perfected this quality but I am working on this personally. Of course since I have decided to make this change in myself I have met many challenges. I regularly find people who want nothing more than to argue. So I have had to either move the conversation to a more positive conversation, or politely end the conversation. Neither is easy to do, and takes effort. Yet I remind myself of this scripture and focus on the sentence-It does not demand its own way. I also ask myself when I feel like an argument is about to begin, if I am trying to demand my own way. I cannot control how another behaves, but I can choose how I will act or react. I hope that there is someone else this will help.

Proverbs 15:1-2 (NKJV)

15 A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly,
But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.

You’ve lost that feeling

Friends come and go, marriages are ending in divorce even in Christian homes. Love dies and relationships end.

Do you feel distant from God? Has the passion you once had for Him burned out?

This song came into my mind and it was like God was telling me that He was singing this song to His children who have grown distant from Him. He has never left you. He is faithful and true. He has never betrayed you or abused you. The pain you feel He did not cause but maybe you blame Him or wonder why He let you what hurt you happen. I do not know why you feel the way you do. I can only tell you that He is still here for you, no matter how far you have gone and how cold your heart may have grown, He loves you and will never stop loving you. He is waiting with open arms to comfort you and dry your tears. His love for you is eternal and nothing can stop Him from loving you. He wants you to come home. Turn back to Him and let Him love you. It is up to you to return to the love you lost because He never left you and He has not given up on you either.

Hosea 3 (ESV) Hosea Redeems His Wife

And the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech[a] of barley. And I said to her, “You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.” For the children of Israel shall dwell many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or household gods.Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the Lord and to his goodness in the latter days.

The Day Says Goodbye The Night Says Hello

I was inspired to take a walk as the sun was setting and the moon was rising and this song came to mind.

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As I looked out my back door and this was my view.  So I went outside to capture the beautiful sky.

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Then I turned to go back into my apartment and I see that the moon is rising. I thought, ‘I say hello and you say goodbye’ beginning the song in my head.

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So I take an evening walk to get  better view. The moon is so bright I am even able to capture the water tower next to the moon.

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The moon is in the perfect place to see between the branches of a tree as I walk closer to the west. The view reminded me of lace.

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I turned back facing towards my home and this is the view I see in the sky to the east.

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The last traces of the sun on the horizon as the star first star shines bright in the evening sky.

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The streetlights come on as the sun disappears from the horizon and the stars come out.

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Goodbye day, and hello night.

As the day says goodbye and the nights says hello I can’t help but think about all the senseless hatred and strife that is going on today. We are missing the beauty of God’s wonderful creation. Not only in nature but in the people all around us. We are all different but all created equal in God’s eyes. Our Creator who has given to each individual free will. Does this mean each person will agree? Doubtfully, but that is okay. I do not have to agree with you and you do not have to agree with me. The only one who is every truly right is Jesus. For He is the Truth, the Light, and the Way. No one came come to the Father except through Him. No religion or doctrine can get me to my Fathers home. Only Jesus. I can argue with you until I am blue in the face and I will never be able to change your mind and guess what? It is not my job to make you do anything. I can share with you all of the wonderful things Jesus has done and continues to do in my life, but I will not try to force you to believe in what I believe. I do hope though when you look around this world and the mess it is in that you can see the beauty and His love despite what man has done to one another and to this world. It is still beautiful, and His love amazes me everyday. I am just thankful that He gave me eyes to see all the beauty and love that surrounds me.

Photography by Julie Sheppard/Bridgeport, Texas 2/10/2017